Painting Lives with Brush Strokes of Affection
(Face To Faith Activity)
Today’s world is a hungry and starved place and the obsession with materialistic acquisition, the hallmark of so called success, has created tremendous conflict in society; in fact it has fractured the lives of children. In such an age of transit and turmoil, we wanted our students to go beyond the confines of the classroom and beyond stereotyped learning, to sensitise them socially.
In an endeavour to foster the students’ capabilities and capacity for service to the community, on Friday, January 20, 2017, the Face to Faith students of Summer Fields School, Kailash Colony, New Delhi organised an On the Spot Painting Competition for the children living in a slum near, INA, Delhi.
This was a very meaningful activity for both sets of children, bringing them close to each other’s life, appreciating the others’ qualities and forging a bond of mutual love.
The students had started working on the preparations for this event many months in advance. The idea of this unique and meaningful way of Community Outreach was conceived by the children after brainstorming and discussion with each other. They painted the poster for the competition and undertook a campaign to collect toys from the school mates to give away as prizes. They also arranged colours, paints, stationery and other art material for the activity.
On the day of the event, brimming with energy and enthusiasm, our young students set out on their mission to bring smiles on the faces of the children of the underprivileged section of society. With warmth and patience, the students initiated the experience of a lifetime, beginning with the exchange of greetings and tender laughter. The children were asked by their new friends about their dreams of the future. This was a joyous opportunity for the children from the economically backward section to give vent to their feelings and aspirations on paper through the paintings and through soft words and hesitant whispers, shared through heart to heart conversations with each other. The children got goodies like toys, snacks and stationery from their new friends. Their joy knew no bounds on being treated lovingly and they reciprocated by inviting them to their humble abodes. This was an eye opener for our students.
Observing the life condition of the children in the INA tenement and drawing a contrast to their own life of material comfort and abundance, left an indelible mark on the psyche of the young minds. They realised that the material comforts that we take for granted are the share of only a privileged few.The spirit, zeal and skill to do something more in life could be seen on the deprived yet jubilant faces of the destitute children. They wanted to learn and gain but their economic and financial status was a deterrent.
Our effort is to have students who are humane and create a society which is free from hunger, hatred, violence and injustice, where every child has equitable access to a life of hope and dignity. It was an opportunity to remove the plasticity from the lives of our students and make them more receptive and sensitive to the needs of the have-nots for there is more joy in giving than in receiving.
It may be just a drop in the ocean, but we hope that the ray of sunshine may disperse into the myriad colours of the rainbow and make life more beautiful and meaningful for both the hand that shared and the hand that received.